The Houston-based Intl. Facility Management Association has just released the results from an e-mail survey conducted among its members. The purpose of the survey is to see if organizations are taking the threat of a pandemic avian flu outbreak seriously and to gauge their level of preparedness. Along with the survey results, the organization provides information about the illness and its history. IFMA reports: “Avian influenza is a contagious viral infection that can affect all species of birds and occasionally causes disease in humans.”
With many organizations recognizing the impact an outbreak could have on business operations, many are enacting specific readiness plans. “A pandemic outbreak could affect workplaces, schools, hospitals, factories, and other facilities. Closures could occur due to lack of staff. Normal health and other services may not be available for several weeks.”
Despite concerns, IFMA explains that while human infection can sometimes be fatal, there has been no evidence that a new influenza pandemic is starting, nor is there any evidence of effective human-to-human spread of the H5N1 infection.
A sampling of the results follow:
- 41 percent of organizations are in the progress of creating or updating a response plan addressing a pandemic flu outbreak.
- 51 percent of the organizations surveyed report that their senior management does not consider a pandemic flu outbreak a serious threat to business.
- 55 percent of organizations report subsidizing the cost of flu shots.
To review the survey results in their entirety, visit (http://www.ifma.org/tools/research/surveys/2006_flu_survey_findings.pdf).
IFMA is the largest and most widely recognized professional association for facility management, supporting approximately 18,000 members. The association's members are represented in 125 chapters, 15 councils and one Special Interest Group (SIG), in 56 countries worldwide. Globally, IFMA certifies facility managers, conducts research, provides educational programs, recognizes facility management degree and certificate programs and produces World Workplace, the largest facility management-related conference and exposition. To find out more about the organization, visit (www.ifma.org).